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Gun Run, Prologue 1


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The Eclipse Bar


September 16th, 23:00


It was another packed night at the Eclipse bar. The previous weeks drama had only increased the demand for tickets. To cap it all, Aortic Valve were playing again, to show their defiance against intimidation and threat. Verity was singing again, louder and more violent than ever. 


There was still a line outside, trying to get in. Pleading, begging, bluffing, manipulating. But Rob the Troll, the huge bouncer of the Eclipse, with a punched up face and knuckles that did a lot of punching up, was having none of it. 


A police car was outside. Parked there for the evening. FC Police were not in the mood to have another incident like last week. Stolen rubies, collapsed buildings, shattered glass. It wasn't a pretty night, last week....

Edited by Supercape
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Jann had gotten to the club at the earliest possible occasion. Which, to him, had meant during the early afternoon. He’d brought some workout gear, so he could spend his time doing something useful while waiting. But he would not let this chance go to waste. If the thief had spoken the truth, what would come tonight would be a hunt of a massive size, so Jann came prepared.


He wouldn’t be able to bring weapons into the club, that Rob had been very clear about. But he could bring a locker with him and store it outside, all his equipment contained inside. He’d purchased it shortly after the action last week, in preparation for what was to come.


It meant that even once those that really enjoyed the music showed up, he was the first in line. And it meant that once the club opened, he was the first inside. From there, he just had to wait, and that was what he’d been doing for quite a while now. He had a vantage point, able to see everybody that got in. His friends were here too, but tonight, his attention belonged to somebody else.

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Rob the Troll spotted Jann almost straight away. It was as if his eyes were peeled just for Jann. Of course, wings made spotting pretty easy. He marched up to Jann quickly, just about containing himself, making himself slow sufficiently not to bowl over the music-lovers in his path. 


"You!" he said, bluntly. His voice could be heard even over Verity's wailing and the curdling guitars of Aortic Valve. 


"What are you doing here? You screwed this place up bigly last week. You gotta damn nerve showing up again. I should throw your chicken-head ass out of the club right now!" he grunted. His hands clenched in agitated vexation. 


"What's your damn plan this week, huh? Fly around in circles giving the crowd a taste of bird-droppings?"


At that moment, Jann spotted a familiar face entering Eclipse. The Freerunner he had let go last week, his face a mask of sweat, full of jittery nerves...

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Jann had expected a similar reaction to just that. He’d prepared for it, finally getting to fight Rob would be a nice warmup. But in a situation like this, he relied on being able to stay inside the club. Especially considering who he just spotted right as Rob was talking to him.


Jann replied with his usual bland tone, looking directly into Rob’s face, but keeping his pose completely harmless, only ready to create distance by jumping backwards should the need arise.


“Finally accepting the challenge? Am busy tonight, but take take these. Have no use for them, you do.”


His hand slowly wandered towards one of his cargo pants’ pockets, from which he pulled the rubies he’d gotten last week, and held them between him and Rob.


“Perhaps move it to next week? Will have time then. “

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"What the damn hell? Verity's Rubies?" said Rob, almost aghast. He started muttering something about Jann being "in on it" and "a little toerag thief", but the truth was he was hit sideways by the "gift". He tried to wrap his head around a most surprising Jann, and was slipping in his grip. Rob was not a fool, but he was hardly sharp either. He was employed for his hands, not his head. 


The Leap Frogger beckoned Jann over to one side. Whilst Rob was studying the rubies, to check they were the real deal rather than pretty marbles, the Leap Frogger pulled him to one side. 


"Come on, don't get Rob the Troll involved. Damn, this whole thing is a latrine soup already..." he shouted over the music, hauling Jann away from the Bouncer. 


"The man, he's at Liberty Park tonight..." he explained, sweat pouring off him like he was in cold turkey. 

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Jann did not harbor any major reaction. He did not approve of getting pulled, and he could have defended himself, but saw no reason to just yet. The Thief had so far been true to his words. Jann did not quite understand the thief’s statement, all he saw the situation was ever improving. Many things were going according to his plan.



Jann looked deep into the thief’s eyes as he responded, like always only mentioning what truly counted. “Good. Lead me there. “



He could tell something was off. The way the man moved and acted, something Jann had seen on a few occasions before. The reliance on substances not created by one’s own body, and their effect. Jann went over his options, and what he’d learned so far. He carried his phone on him for occasions like these.

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"lead you there, yeah, right, right...." mumbled the Leap Frogger. He didn't look well. Agitated, nervous, almost desperate. 


"Sure man, sure. Look, the Beastly Boys run - I mean, literally they run - through Liberty Park every midnight, yeah? That's where the man wants to meet. I mean, I ain't happy about it..." he said, looking left and right as if the universe might cave in on him. 


"I don't want to be around them, you know? Back before you busted us, maybe....yeah maybe then. We matched them. But....they are pretty crazy, you know? Wild? And the Park, that's their ground...we just rode the monorail and the rooftops. The park, all them trees, the dark, the lake. That's was for them...."


"Look man, I did what you said. I ain't going to Liberty Park! No way!" he gulped, a spark of defiance in him. He did look worried about the prospect. 

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So this was how it would go. He had expected things to not go smoothly, but he had not expected said thing to start this early. It appeared that before he dealt with these problems, that really weren’t his own, he could not deal with what came next. And there was not much he could do, but he had some idea of what came now. It had turned out that there was some use to the civil activity class he’d been forced to take.


Without any visible reaction to what the Leapfrogger was doing now, Jann replied. Calmly. “What have you taken? “


Jann knew there was a hospital nearby, he had been there before. It would further increase an already long journey, but perhaps it was necessary. Midnight, that meant that there was still time.  

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"What? What?" blurted the Leap Frogger. "I ain't taken anything? We use zoom, sure. But that stuff is dangerous man. Tyrone nearly died last week, you know?" he gasped, referring to the other Leap Frogger who had got away thanks to the effect of the boosting drug. 


"We only use Zoom, like, in emergencies. To get away from...from...well, from dudes like you" he explained, hands open, backing of from Jann. 


"I don't do it. Well, not unless I have to, man. No, that ain't whats going down. I just...I just...look man, I need the buzz, ok....I gotta have it. You gotta meet the man!" he said, desperately. 

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Nothing. No response. This was what it was like, he’d heard as much. It annoyed him on many levels, even if he did his best to return to a more tranquil stance. He would need his body’s fierceness later. Liberty Park, he had been there before, running into trouble with its guardians when they interrupted him hunting. It had been a long time ago, before the arbitrary rules had been explained to him.



He slowly moved towards the club’s exit, making sure the man was tagging along. He went right around the corner, where he’d put down the locker a few hours earlier, and began to equip the gear he would be using on this day’s hunt. His set of kopesh, carried on the back of his hip. A set of quarterstaffs, and bolas, on his belts. His quiver of javelins on his back. And a hidden knife for those situations that called for one.



Once he was finished gearing up, he looked back at the man. “Will bring you to a safe location, then meet this man. “

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McNider Hospital, Midtown


On flapping wings, and frayed nerves, the Leap Frogger was dropped off at McNider Hospital. At this time of the night, at this time of the week, there was no quieting down for the hard working staff. Alcohol and drugs gave plenty of business; both directly (from excess or tainted samples) and indirectly (From brawls, falls, and so forth). 


"What in God's name did you just drag in?" said the receptionist, a very large (sideways rather than lengthways) lady with tired eyes and tired make up, whose apparent solitary joy was intimidating and stalling anyone walking through the doors of McNider hospital. 


Superheroes were no exception. 


"Do you have insurance?" she asked - both Jann and the protesting Leap Frogger, who kept muttering that he was "Fine! I just need a buzz!"

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More roadblocks. Jann tried to recall what he’d studied for situations like these. It had come up in an exam, and he’d done his best to get a passing grade. But he couldn’t really recall anything. He knew to bring them to a hospital, and to make sure they stayed. But beyond that, his mind was empty. He turned towards the receptionist, doing his best to not look puzzled at the question.


Insurance, he’d heard it before. It was brought up every time collateral damage happened. He was not sure what that had to do with the current situation just yet. So, he did not reply, and instead just looked at the receptionist for a few moments, making sure the thief did not attempt an escape. And then, he spoke.


“Take him. He will require your help. Have other places to be, cannot waste time. “

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"Oh, somebody needs our help does he?" smiled the receptionist with cruel mirth. "Well perhaps that somebody should have bought some insurance. Well, honey, this ain't a charity. This ain't Great Britain. Here, we got the greatest health care system in the goddamn world!" she said proudly, one inch from saluting. 


"We'll just charge you for...wait..."


"Look man, I don't need no help, I just need a buzz, ok? I gotta have a buzz! you don't know what its like...." muttered the Leap Frogger, wiping the cold sweat from his brow. 


"Wait!" he echoed. 


But it was too late, for Jann, the Bird of Arms was aloft once more. The clock was ticking to midnight, and Liberty Park awaited...


~ Fin ~

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